Archive by Author

A Block in Each Hand

16 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I really must brag a little bit here…you will understand as this missive progresses.

Our oldest daughter, Karen, was born in Wiesbaden, West Germany.  She was already on-the-way when we flew over there for Fred’s Air Force assignment.  We were absolutely thrilled that she made her appearance pretty much on schedule.

I have a picture of her – and a cute memory – of an occurrence when she was seven months old. 

She wasn’t walking yet – or talking yet – but she looovvvved her Daddy.

I had her sitting on our bed this one particular instance and was talking to her, when Fred happened to walk past the bedroom doorway.  He did NOT come into the room.  Karen saw him walk by, and reached out her arm, as if to say – DADDY…COME HERE!  And here’s that picture.

Karen – 7 months old, Wiesbaden, Germany

I’m not quite sure just when I learned the following “trick” for when children are learning to walk, and whether or not I used it with our two girls, but somewhere along the line, I learned to do this, and have passed it along to many new mothers and fathers.  I thought I had told both of our girls when their children were growing up, but neither remembers me telling them about it.

To describe it:  I might have mentioned in previous postings that Fred and I have a great-grandson, Silas. 

Silas – 8 months old

Karen and her husband, Brian, get to see him quite often – about once a week, as they go to Forrest and Alyssa’s house to “babysit” so Forrest and Alyssa can have some time off and together time.

Forrest, Alyssa and Silas

Recently, while they were babysitting, Karen did a “duo” cell phone call with us, where we can see that adorable great-grandson of ours, and he can see us. He was a busy little bee that day. He also had one of those push-type toys that he was pushing and walking behind throughout the house.  At one point, Silas took Brian’s fingers in his little hand and began to “walk” around the house.

And so – here comes the “trick” – I mentioned to Karen and Brian that they – or Forrest and Alyssa – should put a block in each of his hands, and he would walk! He thinks that he is holding on to something or someone, and it gives him the assurance that he can really walk!

Credit Pixabay

And what to our surprise, but Karen sent us a VERY short (six seconds!) video of Silas walking – with a block in each hand!!  She said they had suggested it to Forrest and Alyssa, and they actually did it.  And they gave me credit for the suggestion!  (That’s where the bragging part comes in!)

So…if ever you or someone you know wants to encourage a small child to “walk” without help – just put a block in each hand – and watch them go!  It really works!

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

An Expensive Fish

7 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I would like to tell you about an event Fred and I had while we were in Germany.  As it happens, this took place in the same place where Fred and his family stopped back in the 1940’s.  From his posts he wrote about a trip he and his family took:

I remember one of the places we stopped was in a little town called Scherpenzeel [Holland].  I was really taken aback while we were there – not only there but other places in Holland, just in driving around, we would see many, many women out in front of their house or the place where they worked, actually scrubbing the outside of their building – to keep it clean!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen that any place else where I’ve lived.  We stayed in a little inn there, which was called the DeWitte Holevoet, and I think, as I recall, we even ate there.

Hotel DeWitte in Scherpenzeel – 1948

1948 – Hotel DeWitte – Kitty and Emily (by the door) – Scherpenzeel, Holland

While Fred and I were in Germany (Wiesbaden, 1967-1970), we hired a church couple to take care of Karen (she was only two years old) while we did a road trip.  On that road trip, we also stopped in Scherpenzeel, Holland.  Fred remembered the trip he and his family had taken, and the Hotel DeWitte where they stayed and had meals.  So we thought it would be a fun memory for him to eat there again.

Hotel DeWitte in Scherpenzeel – Credit Google Search and tripadvisor

We stopped and looked for a menu for the restaurant.  First rule of thumb when eating out:  never…NEVER…NEVER eat at a restaurant if the menu isn’t posted – that means it is ultra-expensive!  And so, even though we couldn’t find a menu, we decided to eat there, anyway.  Big Mistake!!

When we were given the menu in the restaurant, we swallowed our pride and ordered a fish dinner.  We knew it was going to be expensive, but had no idea just HOW expensive.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember the exact amount, but it was so expensive that it was our “splurge” for the entire trip!  

And then we waited…and waited….and waited…and WAITED.  After about an hour or so, they finally brought the fish out on a platter – the WHOLE fish!  They had actually gone out and caught the fish after we had ordered it, de-scaled it, and then cooked it whole – head and all!  Well, okay, it was REALLY fresh!

Credit Pixabay

In all our other travels in Holland – and many years later with our daughters with us – we never again ate there.  It had changed from a hotel and restaurant, to a gourmet restaurant with a few rooms to let!

We learned our lesson about eating at a place that has no menu displayed!

As a side note – in researching the sites for pictures of this beautiful hotel and restaurant, I was saddened to see that they are “permanently closed.”  No explanation was given.  Unfortunate, since most, if not all, reviews were highly complementary.

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Cooper

30 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Have you ever thought about your family name? Where did it come from?  Has it been changed or “revised” through the ages?

My family name has done just that.  One of my father’s siblings did a genealogy research some years ago, and found the name of our original immigrant from Germany in the 1700’s.  The original name was Leitzinger.  I have so much regret that I wasn’t that interested in genealogy while we spent those six years in Germany to do any searching on my own.  Time wasted.

In any case, Leitzinger was changed to Leitsey, and eventually down to Lites, which is my maiden name…as well as my brother’s name.  I kind of like it – it is unusual, and there are many, many relatives throughout the United States.

But that brings me back to my topic – Cooper. Did you know that, back in the Middle Ages (and probably before), people were named for their occupation?

The blacksmith in the village was called “Smith.” 

Credit to Pixabay and Image by jacqueline macou

The baker was called “Baker.”

Credit to Pixabay and Image by jacqueline macou

The one who fashioned crockery was the “Potter.”

Credit to Pixabay and Image by cstibi

The one who worked with stone was the “Mason.”

Credit to Pixabay and Image by Henryk Niestrój

The one who made your clothing was the “Tailor.”

Credit to Pixabay and Image by Erik Lyngsøe

The one who made rugs and tapestry was the “Weaver.”

Credit to Pixabay and Image by Sabine van Erp

 And so on. However, the one I want to talk about today is the Cooper.  

Credit to Pixabay and Image by kaufcom

According to Google search and ThoughtCo. – The surname Cooper is an English occupational name for one who made and sold casks, buckets and tubs. The name derives from the Middle English couper, cowper, adapted from Middle Dutch kuper, a derivative of kup, meaning “tub” or “container.” Cooper may also be an Anglicized version of a similar sounding surname such as the Dutch Kuiper, or the Jewish Kupfer or Kupper.

What brought this to mind, was that I learned about “cooper” while we visited Colonial Williamsburg many years ago.  Since then, I have seen several restaurants named “Cooper” or Cooper’s” – and the symbol on the restaurant sign is a barrel.  I mentioned that to my mother once, while I was visiting her in Albuquerque. We saw a sign for “The Cooperage ” and it had the barrel on it.  She had no idea. 

Credit Google Search and the cooperage website

 Even Cracker Barrel uses the barrel in their sign:

And so, even today, when I see the name “Cooper” I visualize a barrel.   I just found that to be interesting.  Perhaps not to you, but it is to me.

Credit to Pixabay and  Image by Herm

The large cask in the Heidelberg Castle – large enough to have a dance floor on top. Fred says he has walked on top, and his parents danced on it.

Credit to Pixabay andImage by K. H. J. / MCI.

Old postcard drawing.  It holds 221,726 liters of wine.

The large cask in the Heidelberg Castle – large enough to have a dance floor on top.

Think about your surname – see if you can find where it came from – and where your ancestors are from.  Interesting stuff.

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Happy Anniversary

23 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Fred:  June 20, 2019 was our 58th anniversary.  This is how it all began:  

 In the Fall of 1957, Fred enrolled in the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. 

Fred’s dorm – Mesa Vista dorm – UNM

Sandia mountains, East of Albuquerque – Credit Google Search

In February of 1958, he joined the First Baptist Church in Albuquerque, where Judy had been attending since she was four years old. 

First Baptist Church, Albuquerque credit Google Search

Sometime later, Fred joined the Sanctuary Choir, which is where he became aware of Judy, who was also in the choir.  

 In the Fall of 1958, at the Baptist Student Union (BSU) center on the UNM campus, in a planning meeting for the upcoming BSU Conference in Portales, NM, 

Photo credit Jimmy Emerson

Judy became aware of Fred, while riding in the same car from Albuquerque to Portales (four hour trip).  After the group arrived in Portales (ENMU),

Credit Google Search and ENMU website

and signed in at the hotel, a group of about 10 drove Fred to his parent’s home on Cannon AFB, near Clovis, NM (18 miles away). 

Credit Google Search and http://www.abqjournal.com

 We all rode in our Bible teacher’s Studebaker Champion.

Barbara, Fred, and Coach with his Studebaker Champion – October 1958, leaving the convention

Because there were 10 of us, we had to “double up” and Judy sat on Fred’s lap for that distance.

 Later that Fall, the church youth department, sponsored a hay ride, and Judy asked Fred to go with her…and he did.  This was Fred’s first date with anybody, since he had been a confirmed bachelor!

After this, we dated casually for about one year,

1959 – Albuquerque, NM

and after a lot of prayer and soul-searching, Fred decided Judy was the “right one” for him, so he went to Judy’s father, and asked him for permission to marry his daughter, Judy.  He said “yes.”  With her father’s blessing, I asked Judy to marry me, and – hallelujah!– she said “yes.”

From the beginning of our relationship, we were both committed to the “True Love Waits” concept, before it became popular.  We were convinced our Creator and Lord knew what was best for us.

 We were engaged for over a year-and-a-half before we were married, since we and our parents agreed it would be better for at least one of us to have a college degree.

We married on June 20, 1961….and the rest is history!  And thus began year one.

Judy:   I remember going to work with the Draft Board in Fort Worth, Texas, where we had moved after the wedding.  When our first anniversary was approaching, I was able to take the day off (without pay) and Fred and I went to Six Flag Over Texas, which is between Dallas and Fort Worth. It was our first time at that amusement park, and we played the entire day.  It was great!

Credit Google Search and Six Flags website

 I don’t have a lot of memories of too many of our anniversaries, but that first one stands out.  Since we’ve been in Florida, we have made it a “habit” to stay at the Shades of Green resort on Disney property, and do one park each day.  However, since we are getting older, the heat really affects us, and we decided not to do that on this anniversary.  Instead, we drove over to Titusville and spent time with my brother, Bill and his wonderful wife, DiVoran. 

We four then went to our favorite seafood restaurant in Titusville – Dixie Crossroads – for lunch.  

Credit Google Search and Dixie Crossroads website

We shared a wonderful meal with them, and then headed home.  It was a lovely, quiet, day, and we treasured each other all day long.

 58 years as a married couple – plus three years getting to know each other. That’s a true landmark.  We are grateful to God for bringing us together. We placed Him in the very middle of our lives together at the beginning, and He has never let us down.

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

2 Thessalonians 3:5

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
 
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
 
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
 
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
 
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Father’s Day

16 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I was going to write something for Father’s Day 2019, but when re-reading my post for Father’s Day 2018, realized that I couldn’t say anything better.  So, with your indulgence, I’ll just re-post what I wrote last year, with a few additions at the end:

I have written about Father’s Day in previous years, and sometimes feel that I’ve written just about all there is to tell about my father, and Fred’s father.  I know that isn’t true – I can’t put a lifetime of memories in just one posting. And so as I think of other things along the way that each of those men said or did, it makes a good memory for me to pass along.

I was blessed with a Christian daddy, and the love of God that he instilled in me.  Of course, his job entailed working in the church-related side of life.  But he loved it, and did a wonderful job of it. He was quite dedicated to his job and his Lord.

1942 – Dallas, Texas Daddy, Bill, Judy, Mom

Fred was blessed with a Christian daddy, as well. His dad was a military chaplain when I met him, and served 28 years in the military as a chaplain.  He had a tremendous love of God and country, and passed that along to Fred.

1946 – Columbus, New Jersey Kitty holding Larry, Charles holding Sally. Emily and Fred standing

But there are more “Fathers” in my life, not just my father and father-in-law.  My husband is a father, and has been a solid rock for our family to cling to.  His love of God and country is recognized by many – those he’s worked with in his past military days, and those he worked with in retirement.  He was the Church Administrator at our church for just about 13 years.  He was and is still highly respected by those in the congregation, as well as the vendors he dealt with in the up-keep of the church facility.  The vendors sometimes still ask to talk to Fred, rather than the current administrator. 

Fred, Judy, Karen and Janet – 1976 – Panama City, Florida

Fred has loved God for so long, and deeply, and he has been able to share that love with his daughters.  They learned to love God, as well, from him.  They learned that loving God is more than just attending church on Sundays.  They looked at Fred and realized that loving God is living a life dedicated to God – every day of his life.  He is just amazing, and I love him.

My brother, Bill, is another man of God.  He has led his family with faith in our loving Lord, to the belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  His life – and the life of his family – show the love of man for family and man for God.  I am so proud to be his sister, and to share the love of God with him.

 Bill, DiVoran, Bill and Charlene – 1985 – Titusville, Florida

We have two sons-in-law, both of whom are God-fearing/God-loving men.  They lead their families with love and care and protection.  We are grateful.

Brian and Karen, 2010

Tom, Janet, Hannah and Connor – Christmas 2017

Finally, one of our grandsons is now a father.  He is a very loving and spiritual man, and I am sure that, with his wife by his side, he will show the love of God to his new son (our first great-grandchild).  

Forrest, Alyssa and Silas, Easter 2019

Well, what more can I say?  We are surrounded by the love of God and we couldn’t be happier with that situation.  God has placed us with loving people.  We are blest.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

 
 
JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
 
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
 
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
 
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
 
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Theft-Part 2

9 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Here’s another stupid crook story:

Soon after we moved to Florida, we joined the church where we worship now.  And not only that, but soon after that (six months after, actually), I became the church secretary.

The following year, we called a new Minister of Music to our church.

Rick

He had been with us for a few years when, one day I went from my office over to the Sanctuary for something.  In the process of looking around the Sanctuary, I noticed that all of our sound equipment was gone from the sound booth. My assumption was that Rick had sent it out for repair or something.

The new sound booth

I went back to my office and just carried on with my work.  Later in the day, I mentioned something to Rick about the sound equipment, and he looked at me like I had two heads.  So we tromped over to the Sanctuary and again, he stood there with his mouth agape at the sight.  He had no idea what had happened.

All this happened while our church was having it’s “Mom’s Day Out.”  Mom’s would leave their children for a few hours, so they could have some “me time” and know their children were in a safe place.  There was coming-and-going all that morning.  No one saw anything.

You must understand – those were the days when the church buildings were left unlocked, in case someone needed or wanted to go in for some quiet time with the Lord.

Well, as you might think, Rick called the police and was assigned a detective to the case.  Rick also called the company where most of the equipment had been purchased, to get some kind of value on it, for our insurance purposes. We had the serial numbers from all the equipment.  The owner told him, “I think I have your equipment here.  A man brought it in to sell it to me.”  In order to do that, they took a photocopy of his driver’s license and he had to leave a thumb print!

Credit Google Search and WeLoveSolo/Mark Vector Graphic

Stupid crook, hmmm?

Not too many days later, I answered the church phone to a man who literally whispered to me – “The guy who stole your church’s sound equipment is here right now wanting to sell more to me.”  I asked him if he could keep the guy there while we called the police.  He agreed.  We did so, and they were able to arrest him.  He had robbed another church of its sound equipment, and was intending to sell it for cash.

Really stupid crook!

When he went to trial for the theft of our equipment, his only comment was: “Well, the doors were unlocked.”

I was appalled!  So just because the doors were unlocked, that gave him permission to steal from the church?  As I told Rick – no one ever went into the Sanctuary without checking with the church office first!  Even if they were going there to spend time with the Lord and pray – they ALWAYS checked in with the church office first.  

Well, this hasn’t been such a happy post, but it is a memory that affected me.  Unfortunately, since that time, the Sanctuary is ALWAYS locked.  People are still able to go into the Sanctuary for quiet time, but the church secretary or one of the pastors escorts them over and unlocks the door for them.  All the doors have panic bars on the inside, so they can leave whenever they want – but they have to be unlocked with a key to get in.

Such a pity that our world has come to this.

 
 
JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
 
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
 
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
 
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Theft

2 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Have you ever been the victim of theft?  Large or small?  Of course, when you are the victim, even a “small” theft feels large, doesn’t it?

For instance, when we were in Wiesbaden, Germany (1967-1970), I received a letter from my mother, telling me that, while she was away from the house during a weekend retreat, someone had broken into her house and robbed her.

Our house in 1946, my brother, Bill, and me

My first reaction was absolute FEAR – for her.  My dad had died some time before, and she was a woman living alone in the house I grew up in.  But then that fear subsided – since I was so far away and there was nothing I could do about it.  (Nothing of what was stolen was ever recovered)  They took a shotgun that was my dad’s and was supposed to be given to my brother.  They riffled through her jewelry and only took her diamond earrings.  Of all things, they took the old striking wall clock off the wall in the hallway.  There was nothing of real value in that clock.

1952 – the family together – the wall clock behind Bill

After I got over the fear, my next response – and still is to this day – was anger.  NO ONE – and I repeat that – NO ONE has the right to go into my house and take what is not theirs!!  What we had worked for all our lives up to that point.  I was furious!  Again, I’ve tried to not let it rule my life, as there is and was nothing I could about it.

I think that, not only does it anger me that someone went into mom’s house, but the thought of “someone” unknown to me would riffle through my things – touch my things – just gives me the creeps.  

And that brings to mind a memory I have of our early days in Albuquerque.  Those were the days when we left our house unlocked. Innocent days.  We came home from church one Sunday and discovered that someone had been in the house.  Anything stolen?  I don’t remember that, just that there were signs that someone had been in there.  We had new neighbors next door.  We couldn’t accuse them of doing it, but it made us aware that we must keep our house locked up.  Innocence lost.

When we lived in Virginia, we attended the church that was in our little community. Across the parking lot from the main building was the parsonage.  At that particular time, our Minister of Music was living in the parsonage.  Fred and I went to the church one morning for something or other. 

Credit Google Search

We noticed that his small pickup truck was parked in the driveway, but that the bed of the truck was missing.  My thought was that he was having some repair work done.  We did whatever we had gone there to do, and in the course of our conversation, I mentioned something about his truck “missing” something.  He looked at me funny, then asked me what I was talking about.  When I told him, he made a bee-line out to his house – and stood there, mouth agape, looking at his truck.  Apparently he hadn’t even noticed the truck as he walked to the church proper that morning. Also apparently, during the night, the thief had cut the fuel line and whatever connections needed to keep the bed attached, and just took the bed off the truck and with him.  License tag and all.

But that’s not the end of the story.  As he was driving down the interstate one day, he actually saw the bed of his truck driving ahead of him – attached to another truck – license tag and all.  Fortunately, he had a cell phone and called the detective in charge of his case and told him about it.  The police were able to stop the thief.  His explanation was that he just needed a new bed for his truck, and knew where he could get one without having to buy it.  Unbelievable.  I think that falls in the category of stupid crook, don’t you?

~~~~~~~~~~More stupid crook stories next time~~~~~~~~~

 
 
JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
 
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
 
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
 
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

The Pianist

19 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

I have written before about my pianist ability. Yes, I firmly believe God gave me a talent for playing the piano – but He didn’t give me the “gift” – the ability to sit down at the instrument and just….play.  My mother could do that, and many people I know are able to do that.

 

Judy with friend playing on our piano, 1959

 

Yes, I envy them that ability, but not to the point of “why not me, God??”  I just enjoy the music they can make.

Recently, Fred and I took our eighth cruise with the Disney Cruise Line.

 

Disney Cruise Line – the Fantasy

 

Disney (DCL) has become our favorite cruise line. Many things about Disney and the DCL are just a cut above the other cruise lines we’ve cruised with, and we enjoy them all.

One evening, before we went to our supper, Fred noticed there was a “featured” pianist that would be playing on the piano in the atrium,

 

The Atrium – looks like a peacock

 

so we got ready a bit early and went down to listen to him play.  His name is Tim Moss.  As I recall, there was a lot of activity going on – perhaps it was a time for all the princesses to come and have their pictures made with guests, especially children.

 

 

But Tim was playing as background music for it all. He was playing “by ear” i.e. without music in front of him.  He would just segue from one song into another without dropping a beat.  We were one floor above him, and when he looked up, I waved at him, and he smiled.

After a bit, we went down to his level and stood at the piano as he continued to play.  We talked with him a little, thanking him for his great music and ability. Then we went to supper.

We had one other opportunity to hear him play. He was in a smaller room (called Ooh-la-la) and again was playing by ear.

 

Ooh-La-La Lounge – Disney Fantasy – Credit to Google Search and Roger Weeks

 

There were about 15 people in the room, interacting with him, guessing the songs he was playing.  He was having a great time with them.  While Fred and I love music, I’m afraid there really aren’t too many song titles that I know.  But it was fun, anyway.

The final time we saw him, was on our way to supper the last night onboard.  We were the only two guests in the room!  He said that wasn’t unusual, and he expected more to show up later.  And so we just talked.  He is from Vancouver, Canada.  I told him that, as I watched him play, my fingers just don’t go as fast as his do!

And then I told him a story about when our church here in Orlando was presented with a new grand piano.  The donor wanted to be anonymous.  One Sunday morning, early, I was in the sanctuary, probably picking up any trash from the previous Sunday, when I kept hearing a strange sound. I couldn’t find where it was coming from!  My thought was:  do we have mice in the attic?  (I’m not even sure there is an attic there!)   When I heard it again, I finally looked around and found one of our members playing HARD on the piano.  As it turned out, the piano had some “electronic” features to it, and Al had put on his headset – which turned off the sound of the piano – and was playing furiously on the instrument!  His furiously pounding on the keys was what I was hearing!

We all three got a good laugh from that story.

I can’t seem to find Tim on line anywhere. He has played for/with Disney for more than 15 years now, and seems to really enjoy it.  We are glad we had the opportunity to hear him and speak with him.

It’s amazing how God puts us in others paths sometimes.  And I love it!

 

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day 2019

12 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Fred and I have been considering what to tell you about our mothers on this, their special day.  We’ve told you quite a bit about them both, and so I will just give you tidbits of what we’ve said before.

Above all else, I must make this statement first – and this comes from both Fred and myself: We both loved our mothers-in-law.  We were each treated as if we were another son (Fred by my parents) or another daughter (me by Fred’s parents), rather than son-in-law or daughter-in-law.  We were loved.

Fred’s mother – Kitty Wills…

            She was funny, cute, elegant, classy, down-to-earth, loved to laugh….

Her father was a Scottish Presbyterian minister… I remember her saying that she loved to hear the bagpipes play – it really got her blood up to a good boil!

She was devoted to her husband and their four children.  Being a U.S. Air Force wife, she moved and traveled frequently.  She had a flair for decorating, and her home was always elegant yet comfortable…They lived all over the world – many places in the United States as well as Italy, Japan, and Hawaii.

She was a great cook. She taught me to make turkey stuffing the “New England” way – with bread rather than cornbread.  She taught me to make German Springerle Christmas cookies – the best I’ve ever eaten!  

She loved to have fun, and was a bit of a cut-up. I will always remember her with me on the beach in northern California, dancing barefoot through the wet sand and kelp.

When Fred and his siblings said something “bad,” his mother, instead of washing his mouth out with soap – would put mustard on their tongues!!  Consequently, none of the Wills siblings like to eat condiments!  Understandable, right?

Fred’s Mother had one little quirk that I enjoyed. After she finished stirring a pan on the stove, or a pot of tea, she would hit the spoon on the edge of the bowl/pot/pitcher in the following pattern:

tap, tap, ta-tap, tap…..tap, tap.

For those of you old enough to remember, it is the sequence for “shave and a hair-cut…two bits.”  I always thought that was cute.

Judy’s mother – Agnes Lites

Mother’s meals consisted often of pot roast – and she could make a roast that would just melt in your mouth!  It would fall off the bone it was so tender.  Dad used to tease her with “this meat is no good – it just falls off the bone!”

I also remember that, if there was any roast left over, mother would grind it up, add mayonnaise and either relish or pickles and a hard boiled egg, and it became a meat salad. Spread it on bread, and you have a lovely sandwich!  She didn’t waste anything!

When my Dad retired and money was tight, Mother bought a Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio, trained for the job, and set to work. She had a really good, strong work ethic.

Although I suspect she would have loved to be a stay-at-home mom, she worked as an accountant at Kirtland AFB, to make money for “extra” things in our life.  She bought a new piano for our house. But one of the best things about her working there, was that she would find young military personnel – usually men – who were away from home and homesick, and bring them to church with us on a Sunday, then home to Sunday dinner. She kept in contact with many of them throughout her time there. One time she broke her ankle and couldn’t climb the steps to her office upstairs. The officials were so insistent that she not “retire” that they placed a desk and lamp under the stairway just for her. They really liked her work.

Credit Google Search and Kirtland AFB website

One of the most unique things is that she met, fell in love with, and married a man who was 20 years older than herself. And yet, the marriage was one that I hoped to emulate with my marriage.  She created a loving and secure home for her husband and her children. She was heart-broken when her husband died.

The little snippet of information below is a real insight into her life.  I think it was a testimony to the way she lived her life, and the way she saw life.  It certainly makes one take notice about the wisdom of the words.  I found this in her Bible following her death.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY 2019

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Puzzles-Part 2

5 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

I’ve written before about puzzles, and how much we enjoy putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  Our Karen and Brian have given us some that we had really enjoyed.  This is a Disney puzzle they gave us.

 

 

Last year it was of a bunch of Norman Rockwell pictures.

 

 

This past Christmas they gave us one that held three Bev Doolittle pictures on it.

I’ve been enthralled by Bev Doolittle’s artistry for many years now.  Some of that interest is because of the subject matter she has – Southwestern/Indian.  Since I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, all of that is interesting to me.  I have some of that same flavor around our house.

Each Christmas in past years, I have requested a Bev Doolittle calendar from one of our daughters, to hang in our home office, where I can see it every day. Those calendars have become more and more difficult to find.  And last December, when checking it out, I found that they have stopped producing Bev Doolittle calendars, much to my sorrow.

So it was a bit of a surprise to find that Karen and Brian gave us the Bev Doolittle puzzle!  As I said, it held three different pictures, one was fairly small – only 100 pieces. (can you find the Indian in the picture?)

 

 

The “middle” one was larger, with 300 pieces.

 

 

And the large one was 500 pieces.

 

 

We were able to get the 100-piece picture together fairly quickly.  And we were quite pleased to find that Brian had put together the “frame” of the 300-piece puzzle when they were here in February for Fred’s surprise birthday party!  That really helped!!  But it took us a VERY long time to get the frame together for the 500 piece puzzle. Brian!  Where are you???  But Fred was finally able to get it together, and we proceeded.

It was fun…it was time consuming…it was frustrating…but we managed to enjoy every minute of working on it.  We took about three months to finish them all, but we finally did.  What an accomplishment!

As I mentioned in the other article I wrote on puzzles:

Fred parents lived in a retirement facility for several years before they passed away.  One of the interesting things about that facility was that puzzles were left out on tables in the hallways.  Any of the residents could come and “pick up” just where the last person had left off, at any time.  I thought it was a wonderful way for them to keep their minds sharp while trying to do the puzzle.  It was also an entertainment for them.

And so, I wish you a joyful time working a puzzle.  It truly is FUN!

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.
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